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The Late Movies: Lin-Manuel Miranda Raps on The Electric Company

Lin-Manuel Miranda came to my attention when he rapped about Alexander Hamilton. Miranda is the Tony award-winning star, writer, and composer of In the Heights -- and he has what we call in the business "mad skills." For tonight's nerdy kid-friendly goodness, here's Miranda dropping educational pronunciation-related rhymes on PBS's The Electric Company. If you have young kids, get them to the computer now. (He's accompanied by Shock, a regular The Electric Company, who's a surprisingly good beatboxer.)

Silent E is a Ninja

This is just wonderful. A couple of smart dudes rapping, Miranda's got a cape, then rolling around on the ground while beatboxing?! These guys win at life. Super catchy.

Behind the scenes of Silent E:

The Hard G

Dueling Mirandas, hard and soft, represent the G. Soft G is not only a better rapper, he's the rapper you'd take home to meet Mom.

More context regarding the issue of the Hard G from Danny Rebus.

Bossy R

On the nuanced interaction between the letters A, E, O, and R.

Hard and Soft C

"Soft C is also nice at the end of words like rice or twice. It sounds like an S but take my advice: sometimes you need a soft C to add that spice!"

More!

If you watched the behind the scenes video for "Silent E is a Ninja," you might dig the rap battle between a hotdog and an apple in a Western setting. (See also: part 1 and part 2, giving context.)

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Everything You Need to Know About Record Store Day
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iStock

The unlikely resurgence of vinyl as an alternative to digital music formats is made up of more than just a small subculture of purists. Today, more than 1400 independent record stores deal in both vintage and current releases. Those store owners and community supporters created Record Store Day in 2007 as a way of celebrating the grassroots movement that’s allowed a once-dying medium to thrive.

To commemorate this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday, April 21, a number of stores (a searchable list can be found here) will be offering promotional items, live music, signings, and more. While events vary widely by store, a number of artists will be issuing exclusive LPs that will be distributed around the country.

For Grateful Dead fans, a live recording of a February 27, 1969 show at Fillmore West in San Francisco will be released and limited to 6700 copies; Arcade Fire’s 2003 EP album will see a vinyl release for the first time, limited to 3000 copies; "Roxanne," the Police single celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will see a 7-inch single release with the original jacket art.

The day also promises to be a big one for David Bowie fans. A special white vinyl version of 1977’s Bowie Now will be on shelves, along with Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78), a previously-unreleased, three-record set. Jimmy Page, Frank Zappa, Neil Young, and dozens of other artists will also be contributing releases.

No store is likely to carry everything you might want, so before making the stop, it might be best to call ahead and then plan on getting there early. If you’re one of the unlucky vinyl supporters without a brick and mortar store nearby, you can check out Discogs.com, which will be selling the special releases online.

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Jim Henson's Labyrinth Is Being Adapted Into a Stage Musical
Henson Company
Henson Company

More than 30 years after its cinematic debut, Labyrinth could be hitting the stage. In an interview with Forbes, Jim Henson's son and Henson Company CEO Brian Henson shared plans to transform the cult classic into a live musical.

While the new musical would be missing David Bowie in his starring role as Jareth the Goblin King, it would hopefully feature the soundtrack Bowie helped write. Brian Henson says there isn't a set timeline for the project yet, but the stage adaptation of the original film is already in the works.

As for a location, Henson told Forbes he envisions it running, "Not necessarily [on] Broadway, it could be for London's West End, but it will be a stage show, a big theatrical version. It’s very exciting."

Labyrinth premiered in 1986 to measly box office earnings and tepid reviews, but Jim Henson's fairytale has since grown into a phenomenon beloved by nostalgic '80s kids and younger generations alike. In the same Forbes interview, Brian Henson also confirmed the 2017 news that a long-anticipated Labyrinth sequel is apparently in development. Though he couldn't give any specifics, Henson confirmed that, "we are still excited about it but the process moves very slowly and very carefully. We're still excited about the idea of a sequel, we are working on something, but nothing that's close enough to say it's about to be in pre-production or anything like that."

While fans eagerly await those projects to come out, they can get their fix when the film returns to theaters across the U.S. on April 29, May 1, and May 2. Don't forget to wear your best Labyrinth swag to the event.

[h/t Forbes]

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